It seems like offenses in general have really picked up steam over the last month. That’s not entirely surprising for this time of year, as temperatures are reaching their annual maximums, and pitching rotations begin to see more spot-starters and prospects due to trades/injuries – especially for non-contending teams. Whatever the case may be, I’m not expecting a shortage of offense tonight.
The official team run totals for tonight haven’t been released (as of Tuesday morning), but we can derive that they’ll look something like this:
1) Mariners 5.5 or 5
2) Rockies 4.5 or 5
3) NY Yankees 4.5
4) Astros 4.5
5) Rangers 4.5 or 4
6) Blue Jays 4
7) Tigers 4
8) Dodgers 4
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As you can see, the Mariners are in a favorable position for the second straight day. This time, they’ll face Jon Gray, who will be making his major league debut in hitter-friendly Coors Field. Even though it’s sometimes difficult to pin down the ability of a young prospect, Gray has owned just a 4.33 ERA in 20 Triple-A starts this season. I think it’s safe to target against him in this spot.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Jose Reyes – SS – COL (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here, but it makes for a fantasy-friendly play. If I remember correctly, Reyes was $4,000+ yesterday, then his salary inexplicably dropped to an attainable $3,300 level despite a much better matchup against Vidal Nuno (.330 wOBA vs RHB). He’s the top overall shortstop in this slate, and easy to blend within a solid lineup due to the unexpected discount.
Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – LAD (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
The Dodgers are in a great position tonight, facing a “gas can” in Philadelphia pitcher Jerome Williams. Williams has gotten hammered this season, and he holds a .352 wOBA split against left-handed bats – one of the worst marks among qualified hurlers starting tonight. Definitely keep in mind the LAD hitters, and Gonzalez profiles as the most reliable of this bunch.
Kris Bryant – 3B – CHC (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
J.A. Happ can be categorized as a very mediocre pitcher, and he was roughed-up in his last start against the Twins (9 hits, 6 earned runs in 3.1 IP). Long story short, he’s entering his debut for the Pirates without a ton of confidence. That’s where Bryant steps in with some fantasy potential in this righty/lefty matchup. Even though PNC Park isn’t the most hitter-friendly environment, Bryant could still be a valuable fantasy asset based on matchup potential alone.
Also Consider: Kolton Wong – 2B – STL … Preston Tucker – OF – HOU
Alexi Amarista – SS – SD (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Amarista has manufactured two straight fantasy gems, seemingly out of nowhere. Batting leadoff for the Padres, he has gone 4-9 with 2 triples, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI’s over the past two. It’s unrealistic to expect a continuation of that production, but he’s still cheap at an otherwise uninspiring position (outside of Reyes). The matchup isn’t too bad either, as Milwaukee pitcher Jimmy Nelson has allowed a .372 wOBA split to lefties this season.
Rajai Davis – OF – DET (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
The Tigers are facing a left-handed pitcher tonight (Danny Duffy), meaning Rajai Davis will likely step into the leadoff spot. He’s a fine cheap play considering the lineup upgrade and reasonable hitting ability against southpaws. To make matters even better, he’s heating up with an extra-base hit in each of his past four games.
Jesus Montero – C – SEA (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Speaking quite honestly, the Catcher position looks pretty “bleh” tonight. For that reason, it makes sense to take a near-minimum salary player with upside, especially since he’s playing on the highest projected scoring team of the night. Montero came through with a pair of RBI’s last night, and he could put up similar production against Jon Gray, who is making his MLB debut.
Also Consider: Seth Smith – OF – SEA
Mark Trumbo – OF – SEA (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Trumbo didn’t play in last night’s series opener, so you’ll need to peruse the lineup card to confirm that he’s active tonight. If he’s in, he presents a series power bat to take advantage of the patented “Coors Effect” in Colorado. However, he has been somewhat spotty over the past two seasons, profiling as a “boom or bust” fantasy proposition, which holds true again tonight.
Drew Stubbs – OF – COL (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
The Rockies will face left-handed spot-starter Vidal Nuno tonight, which sets up as an attractive draw for Colorado right-handed bats. Stubbs is one of the cheapest of that bunch, as Nolan Arenado and D.J. LeMaheiu will also look to take advantage of this matchup. Stubbs has the necessary power upside to inflict some fantasy damage, although he tends to lag in the consistency department.
Andre Ethier – OF – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
You could go several different ways with the Dodgers outfield tonight, as Pederson and Puig also set up favorably. However, Ethier carries the hot stick of that group, going 4-8 with 2 HR, 4 RBI’s, 3 runs over the past two games. A nice matchup against Jerome Williams in a somewhat hitter-friendly park is enough to present hope for a hot-streak continuation.
Also Consider: Chris Young – OF – NYY